Monthly Archive: October 2009

Lessons

Here are just a few lessons I learned that were reinforced today.

1.  I crash and burn without my “me time” (aka days off).  Feel me K?

I was in a beezy of a mood all day today (come to think of it, I’d say I’m going on day 3 now).  Even one of the male (read: unobservant) NPs on the floor noticed and asked me point blank what was wrong, and told me I seemed down.  Shoot.  So much for my poker face.  He then asked me if I was “chemical” which was so hilarious, I couldn’t help but laugh.  How I managed to put on a smile for my patients is not just a miracle, it’s like the 8th wonder of the world.

2.  Sick fiancé plus working girl adds up to a disaster of an apartment.

Picture this: Dishes in the sink piled sky high.  Trash can filled to the brim.  Empty soap dispensers.  Dangerously low tissue/toilet paper/paper towel supplies.  Basically, I will NOT be joining the Real Housewives of NYC any time soon.  Working is one thing.  Working and single-handedly holding down the fort apartment, is another.  Kyle needs to get better soon because I am seriously starting to 95% already crumble (I may be 95% there already).

3.  Cold & rainy weather equals homeless/schizo patient overload.

I already discovered this lesson last winter, but I had forgotten how bad it actually gets.  When our floor isn’t filled, we HAVE to (grrrr) take Emergency Room overflow.  Since we are a cardiac floor with telemetry beds, all the patients need to get on our unit is “chest pain.”  Oh brother.  I have chest pain just thinking about the past shift.  Admit me.

4.  There is no reasoning with those who don’t understand reason.

Tough love is one thing.  I am good at whipping patients into shape against their will.  But why am I trying to argue with a guy who is definitely bipolar about why 7 suppositories are not medically advised (not only did he claim his past nurses allowed this [riiiight], but he also already had 3 bowel movements that day).  Or the lady who claims she only speaks Russian (after I conversed with her the entire day before in English) and refuses to participate in passive range of motion while in bed (never mind the fact that I can’t even drag her from her precious jungle of blankets, which will surely result in pneumonia).  If you have no desire to recover from open heart surgery, then why are you wasting my time.  Of course, the patients’ stories change the second the surgeons enter the room on rounds.  Manipulative buggers. 

5.  You can never pack to much food.

I took this pic and thought “there is NO WAY I can eat all this.”  Wrong. 

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I ate it all.  And that salad is even in my BIG tuperware (if you are wondering why I had to use a different tuperware, see lesson #2).

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I’m kinda on a Clif bar binge.  Loving the Z bars, especially the seasonal spooky s’mores.  The salad was the most random thing ever, and I was as excited to east it as I was to make it.  It did the job (which is hardly the way I like to feel about my food). 

The rest of the diddies you know by now: protein pretzels, raisins, dried papaya, dried mango, apple, mini Luna bar (almost out of the minis!), and sugar snap peas.

I got home from work EX-HAUSTED and was so relieved that dinner was already done.  I was definitely in need of a no brainer.

What we have here is a bit of snack plate action (times dos). 

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First up, a leftover black bean pumpkin burger on a WF english muffin with hummus as well as a side of BN squash.  And on deck, an assortment of hummus vehicles, including apple slices, carrots, shrooms, my finger, and a spoon. 

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It was even better the second time around (although that may have something to do with the fact that no prep was involved).

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Like a Good Neighbor State Farm hummus was there.

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Dessert was fruity (and a bit vanilla-y).

In D.C. for the weekend, and I’ll announce the winner of my giveaway when I get back!

Candle has nothing on my black bean pumpkin burgers

I had quite extensive pre-packed work eats. 

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Check out the holiday flavored bars I FINALLY tracked down. 

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I was soooo excited to try the Iced Gingerbread Clif bar AND the Spooky S’mores Z bar.  They were both excellent.  Sugary, but amazing.  Seasonal bars still don’t make up for the nast weather though. 

For dinner, I decided to finally tackle a dish I’ve been wanting to make for a while now.  After seeing that Whole Foods started to carry Candle 79’s black bean pumpkin burger, I knew I wanted to make my own version.  Similar to Diana, I like tweaking recipes, but I also don’t like paying through my a-hole for a single (store bought) burger.

Mine was way cheaper, and yielded several servings, so I would consider it a success.

First, I made black beans (from their dried form), and right before they were done, I added in 3/4 cup of TVP (texturized veg protein), and enough water to make it look like this.

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After it was all stirred together, I added in 1/2 can pumpkin puree.

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Then popped it in the bullet…

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Molded them into patties…

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The extra (uncooked) part was so tasty, I ate it on its own.  I may be repeating this recipe with a few alterations for a hearty chili in the future…

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They came out quite nice, but probably could have used some kind of egg replacer to help them hold together better.  There’s always next time.

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With sweet potato rounds on the side, I served it up, and dug in.

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Kyle was still sick, and had to stay home from work again, so I had some Newman’s Own pretzels with hummus while he was computering the PM away with work schtuff. 

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I’m kinda obsessed with the apple cinnamon combo right now.  Back to the grind manana.  Peace out.

Nursing on my day off

“Please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting another.”

In nursing school, they taught us we had to take care of ourselves before we could take care of others.  Sometimes, I forget that advice, and sometimes, it just isn’t possible. 

Last night my ailing fiancé went to bed really early (we’re talking before the sun), and since he was thisclose to hacking up a lung, I stayed in the living room.  I could hear him coughing all night, poor guy.  Anyways, that (and several other issues) prevented me from getting a proper night sleep.  In my effort to try to keep myself healthy, I didn’t set an alarm, hoping to get a few extra hours of sleep. 

Negative ghost rider.  The pattern is full.

Kyle went to work, but returned home by 8 am with a temp of 101.  At which point, I went into nursing mode…

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Welcome to the toxic zone.  Please note the following: cold compress melting on the wood, WF bag of sputum filled tissue, fluids, tissues, more tissues, and more fluids.

Since most of my day included limiting Kyle’s germs to a small area of the apartment, as well as cooking for and cleaning after my sickly beau, I don’t have interesting (or photo-worthy) eats. 

Here’s what went down in the HHH apartment:

  • white rice
  • veg/noodle soup
  • white rice
  • POM tea
  • Clif bars

Since I was making the above, and sterilizing everything immediately after, I had such uninspired meals.  I’m talking toast, granola, and fruit.  Blah.  I’m annoyed just writing about it.  I hate to be such a downer about it, especially because it sounds like I resent Kyle for being sick (which is definitely not the case, since he clearly didn’t choose to be sick).  But, I try so hard to make the most of my days off, getting errands done, prepping and cooking meals, and exercising.  So, it’s especially frustrating when I eat uninteresting, boring crap, don’t get a single errand done, and never make it to the gym.

Ok, enough whining. 

Here’s the one GOOD thing I ate today:

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Plocky’s Hummus chips!!

I had never heard of or seen this brand before, but lovely reader, Courtney, was kind enough to send me a bag in my massive birthday package

I was so excited to try it, and since I had no hummus (gasp!) in the apartment, this was the closest alternative.  They were so good!  They were thick, but had a great crispy, crunch to them.  Plus, there was definite hummus flavor, but it wasn’t too strong (they still had a definite “chip” flavor).  The nutritionals were pretty decent too.  Of course I finished off the entire bag in one sitting (none of this 3 servings bullsh!t).  Now, I want to try all their flavors!!  If only I could find them in stores…

Back to regular (non-complaining) blogging tomorrow.

Don’t forget, time to enter my giveaway is tick-tocking by!

Just add peanut butter

I had probably THE worst night last night.  “Que paso” you ask?  Well, the abbreviated version goes something like this: boy catches cold, cold causes hideous symptoms, symptoms keep girl up all night, girl sleeps on couch.  Boo. 

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I stumbled back into the bedroom after Kyle left for work, and (fortunately) managed to fall back asleep.  Unfortunately, I unknowingly turned off my alarm somewhere in the bed-to-couch-to-bed process.  I woke up just before noon, very confused, and very annoyed. 

I immediately got to work on a very frothy cup of coffee and a very cinnamon-y apple. 

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After that, I rolled up some of TJ’s flattened bananas with peanut butter.  Brillz.

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My only issue with the bananas was the texture.  It was kinda weird.  I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it was a little bizarre to be eating a banana that had the texture of a fruit chew.  It took some getting used to.

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Since I woke up so late, I didn’t have lunch until nearly 2 pm.  The Nature’s Pride 12 grain bread is so hearty.  I love it.  There are visible chunks of oats and grains, so it breaks my heart that I’m nearly out.  I toasted two pieces and added some ‘fu salad (the OG flavor) and spinach.

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If you look closely you will notice that I definitely burned one of the pieces.  I’m talking black and crispy.  Lunch dessert was the second apple of the day, also with cinnamon.  Obsessed?  Maybe.  But I’m also trying to keep the MDs away since Kyle is producing enough bodily fluid for the both of us.

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Here’s the annoying thing about waking up so late, by the time I had digested lunch, my effing day was already gone!  I wanted to go to the gym before heading to my PT appointment, but time was NOT on my side.  :x

I squeezed in a mere 20 minutes on the elliptical before I was forced to head home (sans stretching) to shower and dash out the door in literally 10 minutes.  Literally. 

Rather than call it a day on the exercise front, I decided to return for the second half of my work out after PT.  But I needed kcals first.

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Top 3 best pairs: Chuck & Blaire, Jim & Pam, and dates & peanut butter. 

I don’t know how, but I actually DID make it to the gym after my dried fruit/nut butter snack-fest.  Even more shocking, I found an open treadmill.  I hate hate hate going to the gym between the hours of 6 and 8 because it’s just so friggin’ crowded.  I ran 3 miles while mentally planning dinner.

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The only ingredient I knew I wanted was an avocadoDo you ever make meals centered around a single item?  If it’s good enough for Elaine, it’s good enough for me.  I’m talking about the “big salad” of course.  Carrots, tomato, chickpeas, avo, and spinach with a side plate of butternut squash.

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The BN squash didn’t last very long on the sidelines…next thing I knew, errrthang was mixed together. 

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Lordy, this was mighty fine.  I was pretty much in veggie heaven. 

Feeling that I had maxed out on my apple quota for the day (is there such a thing? gasp) I switched it up for dessert tonight. 

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I suppose a peanut butter sandwich isn’t so much dessert, as a second dinner, but who’s keeping track?  On non-burnt bread, I lathered peanut butter and cinnamon, and let a 10 second trip to the micro work it’s melty magic. 

I love peanut butter.  It seemed to find it’s way into several meals today, which is great, but I’m feeling lost without my beloved chickpea spread.  Where’s the hummus love?  I’m not quite going through an identity crisis…yet…but I do need to work on some re-stocking.  Sabra?  Are you reading this?

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway!

Zucchini pasta weekend

If I had to design a perfect birthday weekend, I definitely wouldn’t include two days of work.  Unfortunately, my boss didn’t agree. 

I guess I can’t really complain about it though, since I just got back from a week vacay in CA.  I was totally prepared with a buncha pre-packed food.

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Fruit, of the dried persuasion, included mango and pear slices, as well as a strawberry chewy-thingy (Nike race freebie), while fresh fruit was limited to a smallish apple.  I also bar-ed it up with the Blueberry Crisp flavored Clif, and a Cashew Cookie Larabar.  Other “side dishes” included Newman’s Own protein pretzels and ray-rees, but it was this simple and yet delish salad, that was the lunch time star.

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Spinach (and I mean a LOT of spinach), Tokyo seaweed salad, arame, and raisins filled this tuperware and my tummy right up. 

The day was actually surprisingly relaxed.  Weekends can be that way…until the cold weather hits.  Then we get all the homeless crazies looking for shelter and a meal their methadone. 

I knew EXACTLY what I was going to make for dinner when I got home.

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Spiralized zucchini!

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How beautiful is this bowl…and how interesting disturbing is this leftover piece.

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I still ate it though :)  And to top the “pasta”, I heated up some vegan meatless meatballs and organic tomato puree.

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(Left photo) + (right photo) = (below photo) aka heaven

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Yes, there was nooch involved.  AH-MAZE-ING.

I made some fake ice cream for dessert using frozen nanners, chocolate AND vanilla protein powder, Xagave nectar, water and ice.

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Yeah boi.  If you enter my giveaway, you can try it, too. 

Sunday brought more of the same.  Work.  Packed food.  Patients. 

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I used this Baked Tofu salad to create a lunch salad in 5 seconds (just add spinach).  To be honest, I was a bit nervous about how good it would be, because it had some kinda random ingredients (parsley, seaweed AND hot peppers together?).  BUT.  I’m happy to report…

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It was really good!  I’m glad I got to try this product for free because I have seen it before at my local health foods store, but never given it a chance because of the (seemingly) odd flavor combinations.  But now that I know it’s a winner, I will definitely buy it again.

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The rest of my lunch included bars (honey graham Z bar, apple pie Larabar and a mini s’mores Luna bar), fruit (apple, dried papaya, dried pears, and dried mango), and a pretzel/raisin mix.

The entire subway ride home I contemplated what to make for dinner.  I was so sad because I knew I wanted spiralized pasta, but had no zucchini at home (tear).  Taking an extra 10 minutes to grocery shop on the way home was not an option – I was too tired, lazy and just plain hangry – so I figured I’d just wing it.  As I walked in the door, I was greeted by my K-love and two beautiful zucchini :)  He knows me so well.

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This picture just makes me giggle.  I swear I’m not 5 years old! 

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To top the raw zucch noodles, I made a “meat”y sauce with LightLife’s Smart Ground veggie crumbles, chickpeas, and Chobani plain greek yog.

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Ignore the nasty color/appearance of the sauce (it’s never a good sign when I can draw comparisons between my dinner and something I’ve seen come out of a patient earlier that day).

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It was good, but not great.  At first I was going for a meat sauce, but then, when I discovered we were out of BOTH marinara sauce AND tomato puree, I switched to a faux cheese sauce (using greek yogurt).  Unfortunately, the sauce lacked in the flavor development, so next time I would pump up the seasonings (I’m thinking parsley, onion, oregano, basil, etc.). 

About half way through my own meal, I was tempted with Kyle’s neighboring dish…365 tandoori naan and hummus – ummm, yes please!

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Never mind the completely random (and admittedly contrasting) flavor profiles of eating Italian and Indian meals simultaneously.  He was nice enough to share, so I was happy to indulge in the cross-culture yum yums.

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He even remembered to get some fruit for dessert!  Since we split it, I needed a little something extra to fill up my tummy (hence the additional apple with cinn sprinkled on top).

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!